The Guardian’s Brian Whitaker: Brutal Arab Dictator Whisperer

The Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, unlike us mere mortals – preoccupied as we are with such banal concerns as human rights abuses and totalitarianism – “gets” Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Whitaker, in today’s CiF, acknowledges that the Libyan dictator’s actions may seem a bit eccentric before insisting that there is, indeed, a method to his madness.

Though falling considerably short, on the political lunacy scale, of colleague Simon Tisdall’s passionate apologia for Sudan’s Omar al-Bashar, Whitaker’s sympathetic take on Gaddafi (who has ruled Libya since 1969) represents a classic example of the moral inversion which informs so much of the Guardian Left.

The following passage is typical:

“…mad as [Gaddafi] may seem, his actions usually have some kind of logic, even if it’s a logic that others, not attuned to the Gaddafi way of thinking, fail to recognise.”

Yes, clearly those of us who aren’t blessed with Whitaker’s sophistication, and penetrating empathy, tend to be distracted by such mundane concerns as (per Freedom House) Libya’s notoriety for possessing one of the worst human rights records in the Middle East – a very crowded field of competition.

In Libya:

  • Political parties are banned and membership in such entities is punishable by death.
  • Anyone trying to engage in political or civic activity is liable to severe penalties including arrest, detention, and possible torture.
  • Abortion is illegal and punishable under the penal code. Anyone who procures an abortion is liable to imprisonment.
  • Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion are restricted. Independent human rights organizations are prohibited.

Gaddafi, whose official title is “Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution”, has but one sin, according to Whitaker:

“he has lost touch with his people.”

Yes, Gaddafi has become so alienated from his national brethren that he ordered his Air Force to bomb, and direct artillery fire on, citizens peacefully protesting his 42 year rule.

In a 882 word meditation on the Libyan strongman, Whitaker didn’t even once mention Gaddafi’s brutality, nor was there even a cursory mention of “human rights”.

Yet, in fairness, Whitaker did acknowledge that Brother Muammar may not be perfect, and allowed that reasonable people may certainly view his sense of fashion as “bizarre”.

Whitaker’s empathy for brutal Arab dictators isn’t limited to the aesthetically challenged Gaddafi, as he’s also penned a sympathetic portrayal of Syrian despot, Bashar al-Assad – and, naturally, he’s nurtured by a visceral dislike of Israel.

In short, Whitaker’s fanciful musings represents another Guardian tale fit for a king or, at the very least, a Colonel.

13 replies »

  1. Gaddafi has lost touch with reality but I suspect he did that long ago.

    Al-Babler Whitaker is similarly handicapped.

    It is to be devoutly hoped that the Guardian will go the same way as Gaddafi and take Whitaker with it.

  2. Adam, I appreciate your use of the term “Guardian Left.” 😉 Leaves me feeling comfortably untainted. And what a completely pointless article by Whitaker. This was my favorite:

    “When he drove through Africa throwing money out of his car window, he was making a serious point: foreign aid is often misused or ends up in the wrong hands, so why not just let ordinary people pick it up off the street?”

    Gaddafi as performance artist! How piquant.

  3. EISEY – Above

    That is the beauty of Israel , a country with a well established democratic system which allows for a diversity of opinion and the media outlets to enable it.
    Even when such opinion is manifestly wrong as it is in your illustration.

  4. harvey:
    Thank you for your polite reply to my comment. It is very unusual on this site, which seems to specialize in attracting comments only from bigoted morons (my apologies to the politically-correct morons and the intelligent bigots).

  5. Those not tuned to the Guardian way of thinking, in my experience, tend to be fairly well-adjusted and contented citizens.

    Not frothing-at-the-mouth with Jew-hatred care-in-the community types usually smelling of urine, cheap cider and worse.

  6. “…mad as [Gaddafi] may seem, his actions usually have some kind of logic, even if it’s a logic that others, not attuned to the Gaddafi way of thinking, fail to recognise.”

    Brian means that the Logic behind his actions is simple.
    when in trouble unite the people through their common hatred, and change the subject into conspirecy or about the evil Zionists.
    This works every time through out the Arab world and beyond.

    The rest of his logic relies on silencing opponants by attacking not only them but their family members.

    Again, seems very similar through out the Arab world.

    Last there is the use of the Arab street’s naive belief in myths.

    Add these together and you do have a logic behind his method.
    Unlike Brian, I wouldn’t use the word Logic here but rather the word pattern.

  7. EISEY,

    “THe revolution comes to Israel..”

    I think there is an error in the article you sent.
    The author stated it is a new Israel for Israelis.
    I think he meant Palestinians.
    Or Arabs as they were once called.

    Whether he meant it or not this will be the outcome should the NGO plans for “social justice” succeed.

    I for one believe that what was lost in war should be left alone, or at best compansated.

  8. YouAreStupidUnlikeEverybodyElse,

    The “revolution” described by the Hebrew-language Phakestinian paper of record is actually pretty much close to the status quo. A real revolution would be Israel no longer giving the capitulationist Marxist Left sanction to hold sway over her politics, and the Jews in post-1967 no longer called “settlers” but treated like those of Tel-Aviv. A real revolution would see the end of the multicultural “state of all its citizens” (a recipe for Lebanization) and the rise of the Jewish Republic (by the Jews, for the Jews).

  9. Ziontruth:

    “…and the Jews in post-1967 no longer called “settlers” but treated like those of Tel-Aviv.”

    So you believe the tax benefits and the IDF support should be withdrawn?

  10. ItsikDeWembley,

    “So you believe the tax benefits…”

    Evidence for this anti-“settler” talking point / smear?

    “…and the IDF support should be withdrawn?”

    No, just as IDF support shouldn’t be withdrawn from the inhabitants of Tel-Aviv. The IDF defends all Israeli Jews.

    All those who hold the Jews of the post-1967 territories to a different standard than those of the pre-1967 territories must be warned: What you say about the post-1967 territories, the worldwide anti-Zionist Leftist/Islamist alliance says about the pre-1967 territories just the same. That Jews shouldn’t be there, that they’re an obstacle to peace, et cetera ad nauseum.

  11. ZT,
    Sorry, but 2 points must be made.
    Tzahal is the defender of Israelis and not only Jews.
    Cities in Israel use the yasam and not the army unless in a state of war.
    I do not believe my fellow countrymen are different regardless of where they live.